Toolstation Western League
First Division
Chard Town 3, Wells City 3

CHARD started this game with a somewhat depleted squad in a number of crucial positions.

Young Daley Sansom was recruited at short notice to fill the goalkeeper’s role and there was a bit of shuffling elsewhere.

Despite this, an excellent period of dominance in the middle of the second half should have seen them collect three points, only for a couple of late goals to rescue a draw for the visitors.

The Robins found themselves up against it after only 13 minutes, as Dan Williams swung over a fine corner and former Street player Tom Clifford-Jones headed firmly into the net.

The remainder of the first half was highly competitive, with pace and movement from both sides with chances at either end.

James Bayliss saw his shot booted away by keeper Sansom, while Ollie Pearson and Ryan Parris got forward to strike long-range efforts.

Bayliss went close again, and just on half time Tom Salter’s cunning lob was tipped over the bar in desperation by the Wells keeper Thomas Creed.

After the break Wells began to use the slope to their advantage and put the Robins’ defence under some pressure.

Sansom saved a strike by James Bisgrove, Ryan Stiles shot wide and Kieran Bailey, who had another excellent game at the back, cleared off the line.

To counter this, Jamie Manley brought on experienced striker Steve Friend and young Alex Harper, with Max Westlake retreating to a defensive position.

The change seemed to work, and the Robins had their best period of the game, scoring three times in the process.

A super run from James Boyland on 64 minutes saw him wrestle off a defender’s challenge, only to be hauled to the ground inside the penalty area.

Pearson duly obliged by putting away the spot-kick.

Only two minutes later they were in front.

It was Boyland again who was the creator, with a fine run on the right and a precision ball into the path of midfielder Matt Howell, who got forward to sweep the ball home.

However, the best was to come and Boyland was in the thick of it again, feeding a cross to Friend, who bulleted a diving header past Creed.

Now victory looked a distinct likelihood for the hosts, but all was to change again in the last 10 minutes.

The visitors piled on the pressure, pinning the Robins in their half with a succession of corners.

There was one corner too many on 87 minutes, as the home defence couldn’t deal with the head of Clifford-Jones for a second time as he found the corner of the net.

The home side's cause was not helped by Parris being dismissed after picking up a second booking soon afterwards.

With the pressure unrelenting, Wells substitute Reece Cornish stabbed the ball home from close range in added time.

While some might argue that it was a point gained by Chard with a weakened squad, some may say it was two points lost – it certainly felt like it.

Chard Town: Daley Sansom, Ryan Mason (Alex Harper 57), Ollie Pearson, Andrew Holmes, Kieran Bailey, Matt Howell, Max Westlake, Ryan Parris, Jacob Manley (Steve Friend 57), James Boyland, Tom Salter (Josh Lukins 84).

Next up for the Robins is a home match with Keynsham Town in the Somerset Premier Cup (Wednesday, ko 7.30pm), and next Saturday they travel to Warminster Town (ko 3pm).